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Eccles Centre Writers in Residence 2014

Read blog posts by current and former Writers in Residence on the Americas blog.

Olivia Laing Olivia Laing © Ander McIntyre Erica Wagner Erica Wagner © Ander McIntyre

The 2014 Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award was given to the writer and poet Olivia Laing and author and journalist Erica Wagner. Each have been awarded £20,000 towards research at the British Library during 2014.

The Award was set up as part of the Centre’s charge to promote awareness of the British Library collections relating to the USA and Canada and to help facilitate the use of these collections. Each of the winners use the collections to research their upcoming publications. Laing’s book, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, is a cultural history of urban loneliness.  Subjects include Andy Warhol, AIDS, apocalyptic cities and the art of the machine age. Wagner’s work is a biography of Washington Roebling, the engineer who built the Brooklyn Bridge.  The Bridge is an icon the world over, yet the story of its builder—one of heroism, sacrifice and determination—is little known, and Wagner’s book will bring an engaging and articulate man to life. 

Previous holders of the Writer in Residence Award were historian Andrea Wulf, poet and novelist John Burnside, novelist Naomi Wood and historian Sheila Rowbotham.

About the Award:

The Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award was first awarded for the calendar year 2012. The Award of £20,000 is open to writers resident in the United Kingdom. Writers should be working on a non-fiction or fiction full-length book, written in the English Language, the research for which requires that they make substantial use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America (the USA and/or Canada). The first publication to come from the programme was Naomi Wood's novel Mrs Hemingway (Picador, 2014).

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